Tag Archive: Chelsea


The Premier League season begins tomorrow, but there will be no Sir Alex Ferguson in sight. Perhaps some journalists, pundits, and fans will be reminded of the late comic, Spike Milligan, who used to end many of his comedy sketches by staring at the camera and asking: “What are we going to do now?”

Winning start | New Manchester United manager David Moyes has already won a trophy, but the real battle is about to begin. (Image | Daily Telegraph)

Winning start | New Manchester United manager David Moyes has already won a trophy, but the real battle is about to begin. (Image | Daily Telegraph)

Fergie may be gone, but the Premier League juggernaut continues, and it appears that the race for the 2013/14 title will be between three clubs: Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

United are used to approaching the season under intense scrutiny, but this this time the pressure is different, for other clubs will see the Red Devils as a kingdom without a strong leader.

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It is official, José Mourinho has returned. The man whose first press conference in England saw him famously describe himself not as “the special one”, as the press claimed, but “a special one“.

Back for Mour | José Mourinho is back. (Image | The Mirror)

Back for Mour | José Mourinho signed a four-year contract with Chelsea on Monday to return as manager after a six-year absence. (Image | The Mirror)

However, as Mark Twain said: “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” For Mourinho returning to Chelsea on Monday is a very good story indeed.

As the most successful manager in the club’s history, adored by the fans and one of few men to win the treble, with Inter Milan, and lift the European Cup twice, what could possibly go wrong?

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When Capital One took on the sponsorship of the League Cup, as it is traditionally known, it may perhaps have been dreaming of a showpiece final pitting Manchester United against rivals and Premier League champions Manchester City.

All aboard the Bantam bus | Bradford City fans celebrate their side's victory over Aston Villa. (Image | The Guardian)

Bantams of the opera | Bradford City fans make their voices heard following the two-legged victory over Aston Villa. (Image | The Guardian)

As a worst-case scenario, the banking firm would surely have expected two teams of a similar calibre to Everton and Liverpool to be contesting the final at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 supporters.

Not in a million years would Capital One have ever anticipated that its brand name and image would be projected around the world on the basis of 90 minutes of football played between Bradford City, of League Two, and top flight outfit Swansea City.

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Why it doesn’t matter if we patronise Sian Massey

Come the end of the season, Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over Stoke City is unlikely to be a game that stands out for many supporters.

Are you Sian about that? | Massey call v Stoke. (Image | The Huffington Post)

Massey call | Assistant referee Sian Massey rules Matthew Etherington offside against Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium. (Image | The Huffington Post)

However, it produced a moment that could have severe long-term ramifications, and not only for football.

With the Potters 1-0 down, winger Matthew Etherington was fouled in the penalty area. Referee Andre Marriner awarded the penalty, but then reversed his decision.

Before the foul, the assistant referee had spotted Etherington in an offside position, and raised the flag to indicate this.

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Forgotten winger Joe Cole began the New Year with a return to former club West Ham United, and immediately donned claret and blue for the Hammers’ third round tie against Manchester United at the weekend, writes Emma Webb.

Hope and floory | Joe Cole may have been turfed out on loan, but it's Hammer time as the midfielder bids to kickstart his career. (Image | The Mirror)

Hope and floory | Joe Cole may have been turfed out on loan, but it’s Hammer time as the midfielder bids to kick-start his career. (Image | The Mirror)

One of the many great success stories to emerge from the West Ham academy, Cole made his name early on as a schoolboy for England Under-16s.

He formed part of the FA Youth Cup-winning side of 1999, and made his first team debut in the same year at 17-years-old.

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It would be logical to review football on a season by season basis, but 2012 was just a bit special. As well as the European Championships, Africa Cup of Nations and Olympic Games, all the usual competitions provided thrilling moments.

Euphoria | Spain midfielder Juan Mata and striker Fernando Torres celebrate their annihilation of Italy. (Image | Betting Expert)

Euphoria | Spain midfielder Juan Mata and striker Fernando Torres revel in their annihilation of Italy. (Image | Betting Expert)

Rather than document everything that took place, I have attempted to break down the last 12 months into a series of awards.

However, I will not focus on the more obvious categories, such as “most goals scored” (Lionel Messi, with 91) and “most prolific tweeter” (Joey Barton).

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Chelsea Football Club took the decision on Wednesday to remove manager Roberto Di Matteo from his post after eight months in charge, a period in which the Blues won the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.

Dismissed | Roberto Di Matteo in appropriate pose after his side’s run of two wins from eight games, which brought about his departure from Stamford Bridge. (Image | Blue Champions)

Having made a strong start to the season and recruited exciting new players such as Oscar, Victor Moses and Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s form dipped over the past few weeks and following the 3-0 defeat to Juventus in midweek, the club now stands on the brink of becoming the first European Cup winners to be knocked out of the competition at the group stages the following year.

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Chelsea Football Club took the decision on Wednesday to remove manager Roberto Di Matteo from his post after eight months in charge, a period in which the Blues won the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.

Axed | Roberto Di Matteo looks on as Chelsea slump to a 3-0 defeat by Juventus in midweek, which brought about his sacking as Blues manager. (Image | The Guardian)

Having made a strong start to the season and recruited exciting new players such as Oscar, Victor Moses and Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s form dipped over the past few weeks and following the 3-0 defeat to Juventus in midweek, the club now stands on the brink of becoming the first European Cup winners to be knocked out of the competition at the group stages the following year.

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Spellbinding | Ajax’s two mesmerising performances against Manchester City have put Dutch football back on the map after a long spell on the sidelines. (Image | Getty)

This week in Europe may have turned into the week of the comeback for the English quartet, but there can be little doubt, if any lingered, that the Premier League’s finest are no longer Europe’s dominant force.

Remember that spell when there were three English clubs in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League every year between 2008 and 2010?

At this time, footballing knowledge suggested that the continent had been conquered by Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. Well, can you really see that happening this year?

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Rodgered | The League Cup has, in recent years, seemed to provide far more upsets than the FA Cup, and last night was no exception. (Image | Wales Online)

The past two decades have almost put paid to the relevance and validity of the League Cup in the eyes of football supporters up and down the country. It is frequently deemed a “distraction” by managers who field drastically weakened sides in the hope of making an early exit.

With this level of disdain in mind, one would expect the football to be not at all worth watching. Yeah, right.

Tuesday’s encounter between Reading and Arsenal and yesterday’s Chelsea v Manchester United clash were both stellar examples of the often-lauded “pace and high tempo” of English football. Admittedly, the excitement in both largely stemmed from appalling defending.

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